5th February newsletter

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The Simple Politics guide to next week in Parliament.
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Over to the Lords

There are 4 sitting days left, before Parliament takes a half term break. The Commons, though, are already easing down.  They don't have any laws to debate next week. That should free them up for lots of discussions about the EU and other things.  The Lords, though, are full steam ahaed on some of the biggest laws of the moment. The three mentioned in this email are all crucial to the Government's plans. Will they get through unchanged? We'll see...
Welfare Reform and Work Bill

This is intended to encourage people into work but is very controversial. It will create an annual benefits cap of £13,400 (£20,000 a couple - more in London).

It will also freeze social security benefits (pensions, jobseekers etc) and tax credit for 4 years and limit child benefit to 2 children per family.
More details
Trade Union Bill

A London tube strike costs the economy from £50 -£600 million.

This law make strikes harder by making more people have to vote for them. It also puts in a delay to strike, changes rules about picketing & political funding.

Critics say it takes power away from workers; threatens democracy; & striking is a human right.
More details
Housing and Planning Bill

This will allow housing association tenants to buy their home - and ensure that when they do, the housing association builds another.

There are other measures too, including more 'starter homes' (20% off 1st homes); and to get more houses built on former industrial and commercial sites known as 'brownfield'
More details
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